Character, Virtue Theories, and the Vices

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Broadview Press, Aug 26, 1999 - Philosophy - 272 pages

This book argues that the question posed by virtue theories, namely, “what kind of person should I be?” provides a more promising approach to moral questions than do either deontological or consequentialist moral theories where the concern is with what actions are morally required or permissible. It does so both by arguing that there are firmer theoretical foundations for virtue theories, and by persuasively suggesting the superiority of virtue theories over deontological and consquentialist theories on the question of explaining morally bad behavior. Virtue theories can give a richer account by appealing to the kinds of dispositions that make certain bad choices appear attractive. This richer account also exposes a further advantage of virtue theories: they provide the best kinds of motivations for agents to become better persons.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Virtues and Vices
26
The Role of Character in Virtue Theories
57
Moral Theories and the Vices
91
Functional Goodness
124
Practical Reasoning and the Unity of a Good Human Life
153
Some Particular Vices
183
Ethical Judgements
217
Endnotes
235
Bibliography
247
Index
255
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About the author (1999)

Christine McKinnon teaches philosophy at Trent University.

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